Book Review: The Kissing Hand

Photo of the cover of the book The Kissing Hand. The cover depicts a mother raccoon kissing her son's paw silouhetted against a full moon.

Here’s a story for toddlers heading off for their first day with a babysitter, daycare or preschool.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a picture book about a young raccoon reluctantly starting his first night at school (he’s nocturnal after all). In this case, "school" is a giant tree populated by adolescent forest animals of all types who get taught by a wise owl.

The raccoon’s mother explains to her son the fun he will have — making new friends, playing with new toys, reading new books and so forth.

Then Mom entrusts him with a "very old secret" she learned from her mother. Mom takes her son’s paw and kisses it, filling him with warm fuzzies.

She explains, "Now whenever you feel lonely and need a little loving from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, ‘Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.’ And that very kiss will jump to your face and fill you with toasty warm thoughts."

The boy then goes to school comforted by his kissing hand, but before he departs, he kisses his mother’s hand so she too will have him close by her during his absence.

Now, I can’t say this story worked for my 4-year-old daughter because she’s naturally excited at the prospect of doing anything without a parent attached at the hip. However, if your kid is clingy, give it a look.

I picked my copy up at a garage sale (an excellent source for mint condition Scholastic books). You can find it at Amazon as well.


5 Responses to “Book Review: The Kissing Hand”

  1. Dor says:

    Aww, that’s really quite sweet!

    August 29th, 2008 at 9:08 am

  2. Mary says:

    My son recieved this book as a gift when he went on a 4 week trip to Florida to visit his grandparents, without us. It really helped!
    There is also a second book for when a new sibling is added to the family that he received last summer when his new baby brother arrived. It is perfect for showing that there is enough love to go around.

    August 29th, 2008 at 9:58 am

  3. Nicole says:

    This is a great book! My son is not “clingy” at all but it has been a very sweet read for us over the past year… I love that from time to time he will give his dad a kissing hand before he leaves for work and sometimes in the middle of the night if he’s having trouble sleeping he’ll ask for one. I really recommend this book for anyone!

    August 29th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  4. Kim says:

    I was feeling wretched one morning and my hubby was taking our daughter to preschool, which is usually my job. They were at the front door when she suddenly ran back to me on the couch and asked if I wanted a kissing hand, so I wouldn’t miss her so much during the day. Of course I said yes and got my kiss, and I held it close and tried not to cry as they left for the morning.

    August 29th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

  5. CallMeKelly says:

    Kim, that is hands down the sweetest thing I’ve read all week! What a sweetheart!

    And the book sounds right up my alley, as a parent who has to leave occasionally for work trips that is def. going on my wish list, thanks for the post!

    August 29th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

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